st. john's wort

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st. john's wort

st. john's wort

Famously used for depression nerves, stress, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, alcoholism, insomnia, inflammation, hemorrhoids, menopause, PMS, arthritis, gout, flu, viruses, AIDS, HIV, cancer, diarrhea, back pain, sciatica, bladder problems. A serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. This prevents serotonin from being reabsorbed from the nerve synapse, prolonging serotonins' antidepressant effects. A 2005 study showed it was more effective than Prozac, without the side effects. Contains hyperforin, which protects against gram-positive bacteria. Flowers and leaves can be put into salads or made into tea. Do not take St. John's Wort if you are taking antidepressant drugs- leads to "serotonin syndrome", a condition marked by confusion and cardiovascular irregularities. Also don't use St John's Wort if you are tanning (could burn skin) Named so because it flowers on St. John's day (summer solstice) Has small, narrow opposing leaves with transparent dots throughout the leaves if held up to light. These are the oil glands. Flowers are yellow, 5 petals, with black dots. When flower buds are crushed before they become flowers, a reddish purple liquid comes out. Tea can be used internally or externally for skin conditions, but remember not to go out in the sun after taking it.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz

St. John's Wort

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Also known as Goat Weed, Tipton Weed, Sol Terrestis, Amber, Herba John, and Klamath Weed, St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an herb used a great deal in Witchcraft and magic. It is good for protection, health, happiness, and strength. When picked before sunrise with the dew still on it, it is used in love divination. Classified as a masculine herb ruled by the Sun, its element is fire. If gathered at midsummer (its name comes from St. John's Eve, which is midsummer's eve) and worn on the person, it will keep you safe from colds and fevers, will make you invincible, and will attract others in love. It will also keep mental illness at bay and cure melancholy.

St. John's Wort flowers or leaves were often hung from the beam over the front entrance to a house to protect the home from burglary, lightning, fire, and evil spirits. It was also considered effective against ghosts, spirits, demons, and the evil eye. If you placed a piece of the root under your pillow, it was said to cause you to dream of your future spouse. Early Christian persecutors believed that holding the herb to the mouth of an accused witch would cause them to confess their supposed crimes.

An old folk tale warned that if you accidentally stepped on St. John's Wort you ran the risk of a fairy horse rearing up underneath you and carrying you away. It would gallop all night before suddenly vanishing at the dawn, leaving you miles from where you started.

The herb was burned and used as incense. Along with bracken, corn marigold, daisy, dwarf elder, fennel, ivy, male fern, mogwort, orpine, vervain, and yarrow, it was burned at the Summer Solstice to purify and protect.

If you hold the leaf of the plant up to the light, you can see small red dots in it. These were said to have been made with a needle by the devil. Some say they only appear on August 27, the day St. John was reputedly beheaded.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

St. John’s wort

indicates animosity. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 177]
See: Hatred

St. John’s wort

defense against fairies, evil spirits, the Devil. [Br. Folklore: Briggs, 335–336]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.